The craving for roses goes unabated. A perennial trend, particularly in Tokyo, where the rose is a dependable fallback, Women love roses here, the word either the same — ‘rose’ – enunciated in an inimitable, peculiarly sensual way – or else as the Japanese original, ‘bara’.
Couple that love with the froufrou Parisiana of Diptyque’s signature designs that light up the corner of any department store – I was prowling the newest skyscraper destination in Shibuya yesterday, among thousands of other shoppers on the national holiday before seeing Ari Aster’s wild-flower strewn Midsommar: – and both the beautifully packaged candle – Paris En Fleurs – as well as the new eau de parfum, Eau Capitale, are surely destined to become big hits here.
The Diptycians have not taken any risks with this rose release : the scent immediately familiar in its full richness of rose and patchouli, the classic, chypric, olfactive pairing that put me in mind swiftly of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Voleur De Roses, Sisley’s Soir De Lune, and Frederic Malle’s Portrait Of A Lady. It is assuredly done, with the usual pink pepper; quite enveloping – if not entirely tingling to my own senses – but with its ‘unisex’ labelling and fullfledgedness, I also do look forward to smelling theses roses on boys – as well as girls – as they make their way about the city this spring (the barazoku, or rose tribe, the code word in Japanese underground slang for the young homosexual man).
Real roses, fresh dawn roses, are emotionally imploring : cut to the quick. I have always found them innocent, protective : a whole world unto themselves : “Love is a rose, but you’d better not pick it “ sang Linda Rondstadt: “…… it only grows on the vine”. Rose Trocadero, by Le Jardin Retrouvé, is one of those courageously uninhibited soliflores that tries to capture that moment of leaning into an erect stem of tea roses in the early morning dew of May or June; Simple, nostalgic, with its touches of black currant bud over a bed of gentle white musk, perfumer Yuri Gusatzt has successfully shied away from overdecoration.
Not so Tom Ford :
– – – where the luxurious provocateur continues his amusing recent pattern of chic, ‘naughtily’ titled perfumes such as Lost Cherry.
As a child, I was always captivated by roses in fairy tales: the stolen white rose leading to Belle’s father’s incarceration by the Beast; the prick of blood on a young maiden’s finger leading to incantations cast by hidden sorceresses ( or later, vampires : Mina, her back arched in ecstasy in the moonlight rose bush gardens of Bram Stoker’s Dracula ) ……… the power of the thorn / flower dichotomy irresistible.
Rather than Snow White, or the Nightingale and the Rose, the screen advertisement for Tom Ford’s latest outré product push features music more suited to a horror movie, as knife edges slash through petals, and roses spill their seed, oozing like light, thick pink matte paint (the colour – which I adore – perfectly fitted to the thick, sweet, clinging tonka beaned, coumarinic turmeric base of the gourmand amber/patchouli heart, peppered with Sichuan I admit I find a little airless and suffocating). Once again, Mr Ford has ripped flowers from their natural habitat, twisting them gamely for his own urbanic predilections. The problem is, that despite the sprightly sexual innuendo of the name, and the promise of ‘juiciness’; —— ‘the prick of a rose, the slight pain that yields such sensual pleasure’ ——— the alleged thick profusion of Bulgarian, Turkish and May roses in the blend to me lacks generosity, fullness:; fecundity. A prick for me has always sounded long, bony ; thin. I much prefer a dick, or a cock.